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The Boy Who Would Live Forever: 04/30/09
Since Thanksgiving I've been working my way through the Heechee Saga. A month ago I finished the original trilogy and now I've hit the first of the add on books. The first three covered the life, death and "re-birth" of a prospector turned billionaire. They were fun and full of the sort of adventures that California's early statehood history holds but set in space with alien technology and a planet in crisis due to over population and dwindling resources.
The Boy Who Would Live Forever tries to return to the wild west feel of Gateway but at the closing days of original missions. Instead of following the rags to riches biography of a self made billionaire, this novel looks at the less fortunate and the more cautious. These are the prospectors who have come too late to hit it big and must find a new way of "making it" in the galaxy.
Oh if only the novel were as simple as prospectors coming too late to the party. Unfortunately the original series ends with the revelation of the mysterious Heechee. The problem with the Heechee is that they aren't anywhere as amazing as they were when they were left to the imagination. Since the original protagonist isn't in this book and perhaps the unlucky prospectors aren't as sexy so Pohl dedicates a large portion of the novel to the Heechee. They rapidly go from being incredible to being not much different than the Niblonians from Futurama.